In light of growing international interest, The New Presence was founded in 1996 as the English language counterpart to the Czech Republic’s leading socio-political journal, Přítomnost.
Published on a quarterly basis, The New Presence has grown over the past decade and a half as universities, online publishing databases, and individual readers have recognized the uniqueness of this journal on Central European affairs.
With many of its articles translated from Czech into English, The New Presence provides English readers with an unmatched look into not only Czech affairs, but also global affairs from a Czech perspective.
As the world around us has grown increasingly globalized and interconnected, we have recognized the need to create a community of shared and mutual understanding through dialogue and debate. We have recognized the importance of varying viewpoints and perspectives, and it is our mission to provide such a platform.
For that reason, we have decided to heed the order of the day and digitalize our publication. As many print publications have realized, the Internet provides us with the opportunity to expand our global reach even further. It is with great excitement that we thus bring The New Presence to you in this digital age.
Despite being founded in 1996, the The New Presence boasts a history which extends back to the founding of Czechoslovakia.
Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 at the end of the First World War and following the break up of Austria-Hungary. With the most democratic constitution in the world at that time, Czechoslovakia sought to be a bastion of democraticism and liberalism in the heart of Europe.
With this end in mind, Přitomnost (The Presence) was founded in 1924 by Ferdinand Peroutka, a young Czech-German writer and journalist who received financial assistance from Czechoslovakia’s first president, Tomaš Garrigue Masaryk, to found the journal.
The first publisher of the journal was publisher and politician, Jaroslav Stránský, the son on of Adolf Stránský who founded the oldest Czech daily Lidové noviny (The People’s Paper) in 1893 and was Czechoslovakia’s first Minister of Commerce under T.G. Masaryk.
The magazine soon gained a notable and prestigious reputation and became the most esteemed political publication of its time. A large number of respected democratically-minded authors such as Karel Čapek, Milena Jesenská, Eduard Bass, Karel Poláček, Richard Wiener, Václav Černý, and Otokar Fischer contributed to Přítomnost.
After the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Peroutka was deported to Buchenwald, a Nazi concentration camp. After the War, Peroutka revived Přítomnost under the new name Dnešek (Today), but official publication ceased with the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948. Since the Czech communist government restricted freedom of speech and press, a number of young Czech intellectuals-in-exile attempted to continue publishing the journal as an underground publication and with the name Skutečnost (Reality). Among its contributers were Pavel Tigrid, Jaroslav Stránský, Meda Mládková, and even the now famous Ferdinand Peroutka.
In January 1995, Martin Jan Stránský, the grandson of Přítomnost’s first publisher Jaroslav Stránský and a member of the Stránský publishing family, carried on the family tradition and began to publish Nová Přítomnost. A year later, The New Presence was founded as Přítomnost’s English-language counterpart.
In January 2000, Nová Přítomnost returned to Peroutka’s original “trade mark” name as simply Přítomnost.
Today Přítomnost and The New Presence continue their fine tradition of quality reporting and informed opinion. Reporters such as Luboš Dobrovský, Jan Hartl, Jiří Musil, Jiří Pehe, Petr Příhoda, Miloslav Petrusek, Jaromír Štětina, as well as key figures from around the world have helped make Přítomnost and The New Presence as noteworthy and prestigious as their predecessor.
Martin Jan Stránský
Gerald Cary-Elwes, Jan Urban, Francis Raska, Hrishabh Sandilya, Thea Favarolo, Petr Mucha, David Tacl, Benjamin Cunningham
Editors of Přítomnost/The New Presence:
David Bartoň, Jaroslav Formánek, Pavlína Havlová, Barbora Latečková